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David Bronstein vs Miguel Najdorf
"Long Think, Strong Think" (game of the day Feb-19-2018)
ARG-URS (1954), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 1, Mar-16
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B95)  ·  1-0



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Given 62 times; par: 65 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Hawks> The king's starting position is on e8!

Okay, seriously, what move number are you talking about?!

Mar-01-07  ianD: Wonderful game
Jul-13-07  Bob726: 16 0-0-0! was much better than 0-0
Jan-25-08  Cibator: Bronstein's own copious annotations to this game (too lengthy to reproduce here) can be found on pp 104-107 of "The Delights of Chess" by Assiac (Dover, 1974).

Of particular interest are his comments on the 10th move and its ramifications, where he notes that the idea isn't new - it was first tried, in a position where the moves f4 and ...Be7 had been added, in 1934.

(DB also candidly admits that he couldn't remember all the old analyses!)

May-09-08  KingG: Yes, it turns out this sacrifice had been played many times before. The first famous game in this line, and the one Bronstein was probably referring too, was Rauzer vs V Makogonov, 1934.

I believe Bronstein's big contribution in this game was the move 15.Bd2!. If White had taken on f6, and in some other games, then Black would retake with his g-pawn in order to use the g-file to attack White's King side. In general though, White does welcome exchanges, as they make it easier to exploit his three conected passed pawns on the Queen side.

These days Black no longer plays 7...Nbd7, instead preferring 7...h6!, as in for example Short vs Kasparov, 2000.

Jan-07-11  meppi: very instructive game regarding the dynamic value of pieces vs pawns.

Just a minor point but i think that bronstein could have improved with 27. Rxc5 - Rxc5

28. fxe4

True he is down a whole rook now rather than a whole piece. But 5 connected pawns, 4 of them with no opposing pawns to challenge them. Bronsteins queenside pawns and king should be able to tie down both black rooks by themselves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Bronstein ... really took my breath away ... I was literally gasping and "ooohing and ahhhing" when i was going over this game.

Game # 24, (page # 54) of the book, "The Golden Dozen," by Irving Chernev.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Exciting endgame!
Aug-31-11  Novirasputin: To my mind Bronstein had another game (if not more) similar to this in the Kiesiertsky variation of the two knights where he sacked the bishop for an unstoppable pawn chain of death. There it was for central control as opposed to the endgame but the idea seems somewhat similar. It was against E. Rojahn
Aug-31-11  MaxxLange: <Novirasputin> You are thinking of the game Bronstein vs E Rojahn, 1956 ?

Good catch - this is a bit like the Rojan game. thematically

Oct-04-12  Tullius: Bronstein says that 16...0-0 was Najdorf's only, but decisive, mistake; that he should have castled queen-side, whereupon g7-g5-g4 would have given him strong counter-play.(in Assiac: The Delights of Chess, p.106)
Oct-04-12  cionics: I'm amazed by 10. Bxb5. Sad to say, I would never have come up with that!
Jan-02-13  backrank: <Cibator: Bronstein's own copious annotations to this game (too lengthy to reproduce here) can be found on pp 104-107 of "The Delights of Chess" by Assiac (Dover, 1974). Of particular interest are his comments on the 10th move and its ramifications, where he notes that the idea isn't new - it was first tried, in a position where the moves f4 and ...Be7 had been added, in 1934.>

Now I've looked up Bronstein's notes in Assiac's book. He refers to the following games there:

Konstantinopolsky vs Akshanov, 1934


Lilienthal vs Kotov, 1942

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Black seemed to do better here than the 2015 Gibraltar game Wei v. Shirov. Wei took the pawns and ran over shirov.
Dec-13-16  clement41: What an entertaining sicilian by two great and creative players!
Feb-19-18  schnarre: ...Masterful play by Bronstein!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Surprising Bronstein missed Re7+ at the end. Clearly a much stronger move without the sloppy complications of the game text.

Maybe it was time pressure, but it would have seemed to be a simpler calculation than what was played. It almost belies a distrust of giving check.

Feb-19-18  Ironmanth: Tremendous game! Thanks for this one. Hope all have a great day enjoying this classic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tal Apprentice: HeHateEMe, I don't think that Shirov was at Gibraltar 2015. The closest game I could find is Wei Yi vs Alexey Shirov, World Cup 2013.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: you're right, it was 2013, same opening, slightly different continuation. black doesn't get much counter play here either, as Wei tramples Shirov:

<Wei Yi vs Shirov, 2013>

Feb-20-18  Moszkowski012273: Wow pretty horrible "tactic" on a2 near the end there.

Also the King belongs on e7 in this variation not ...0-0

Feb-20-18  Saniyat24: Instead of 33...Nf6 could Najdorf have played Rc6 or Nc7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: I normally don't think that it's a good idea to either play an opening or allow an opening to be played that's named after your opponent. But in this case it worked out well for Bronstein.
Feb-20-20  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Although 41 d8+ wins,

41 c7 is stronger!

Dec-30-21  Albion 1959: Fischer tried the same sacrifice in an almost identical position against Najdorf in 1960, but was unable to pull off the win like Bronstein did. Maybe 16 Ke7 instead of O-O would have been an improvement. These types of positions are tricky and not easy to handle for either side. On move 29 Najdorf captured on a2 with check, followed by a knight fork. This looks good at the time, but with the gift of hindsight, it was a mistake ? From move 33 onwards the pawns had a free rein and were unstoppable. A possible suggestion instead of 29. Rxa2+ was 29. d6! Nf6!?
30. d7 Rd8
May be better? Though black still has a hard time trying to hold back the white pawns:
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